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132 Reviews
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bridget Jones meets Sue Grafton with nice results
I was sort of hesitant to read this one but I couldn't help my curiosity. I'm glad that I read it because it is a nice guilty pleasure. I've been a fan of Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton for a while now and what I really like about this book is that it combines the best of those two lead characters (Stephanie Plum and Kinsy Millhone respectively) into the fun but serious...
Published on May 24, 2002 by Gregory Baird

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but not the worst
I was moderately disappointed in this book.
I found it to be a fairly standard modern murder mystery, a la Mary Higgins Clark. While the writing was solid, it was one-dimensional and the story and characters were generally bland. From the hype, protagonist Bailey is characterized as "smart, sexy and gutsy," and I really didn't notice her being anything other than...
Published on June 5, 2002


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bridget Jones meets Sue Grafton with nice results, May 24, 2002
This review is from: If Looks Could Kill (Hardcover)
I was sort of hesitant to read this one but I couldn't help my curiosity. I'm glad that I read it because it is a nice guilty pleasure. I've been a fan of Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton for a while now and what I really like about this book is that it combines the best of those two lead characters (Stephanie Plum and Kinsy Millhone respectively) into the fun but serious Bailey Weggins. She is easy to like and her life is not so outrageous as to be unbelievable. It would be very easy to follow her exploits further, so I hope that the fact that the cover advertises If Looks Could Kill as 'a Bailey Weggins mystery' means that there is more to come. As for the writing Kate White does a masterful job plotting out her mystery, leading you in many directions without confusing you and throwing in just the right amount of twists. My one complaint would be that the ending seems to happen pretty quickly, but that hardly takes away from the book and actually leaves you interested in what happens next. All in all this was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KELLY RIPA PICKS A WINNER, May 13, 2002
By 
Nancy Martin (Pennsylvania (orig. NY)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: If Looks Could Kill (Hardcover)
I'd be the first to admit that I truly enjoy reading books along with a group. When Oprah announced the possible end of her six-year book club, it was a sad day for me. The sadness, however, was replaced with joy as other TV shows and newspapers jumped on the bandwagon and started their own book clubs. While Regis jokes that Kelly's book club could be better known as "beach trash reading," this statement couldn't be further from the truth with Ripa's first pick. Prior to this, I had never heard of Kate White and this is one of the reasons I love book groups....you get introduced to authors whose books you might not have picked out on your own. I'm happy to report that White's book is informative, enjoyable and an overall excellent "who done it." I read about fifty books in the mystery/thriller genre each year and I must admit that she had me guessing until the very end.
IF LOOKS COULD KILL is set in Manhattan where the main characters work together at "Gloss Magazine." The author gives the reader a great inside look at both the magazine as well as the fashion industry. Her characters navigate different parts of the city from Greenwich Village to Tribeca to Chelsea to Central Park West in search of their stories and photo shoots. I particularly loved her descriptions not only of the locales but of the outfits worn by her characters as well. It was like being in a Sex And The City episode but, instead of following Carrie Bradshaw around, we get to tag along with Bailey Weggins, the crime story journalist for "Gloss. Since she writes about crime, her boss Cat Jones thinks she'll be perfect for trying to solve the mystery of "who killed Cat's nanny" and remove some of Cat's fears that she, herself, was really the intended victim. In order to get to the bottom of this fiasco, Bailey will travel out of Manhattan into beautiful Bucks County, PA, which, coincidentally, is the home of this reviewer. Imagine my surprise as Bailey drove into my hometown on a picture perfect day. Unfortunately, her trip wasn't as enjoyable as it might have been but you'll have to read the book to find out what happens.
So, all in all, I give this book a solid 5 stars in comparison to other books in this genre. I understand the author is working on another book with Bailey Weggins as the main character and I look forward to its release. It was nice for a change not to be reading about the male, alcoholic, divorced, bad-tempered, wisecracking private eye that so many authors are relying on nowadays to sell their books. Instead, we are given a female, who is a loser at love, dresses well, has an exciting job and thinks about things that we readers can associate with on a daily basis.
Kudos to you Kelly Ripa for a fine first pick and congratulations to Kate White for being the beneficiary of this notoriety....and well deservedly so, I might add.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but not the worst, June 5, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: If Looks Could Kill (Hardcover)
I was moderately disappointed in this book.
I found it to be a fairly standard modern murder mystery, a la Mary Higgins Clark. While the writing was solid, it was one-dimensional and the story and characters were generally bland. From the hype, protagonist Bailey is characterized as "smart, sexy and gutsy," and I really didn't notice her being anything other than plain and normal; if she was meant to be a Stephanie Plum rip off, the author should go read more Janet Evanovich. Mystery-wise, the killer was always on my short list of suspects, so I had no "so THAT's who did it!" epiphany like I did from Neil Gaiman's American Gods (which is an excellent book even though the mystery is only a very small sub-plot).
What annoyed me the most about the book, though, was the over-use of slang phrases. It seemed like the author was including slang specifically to appeal to a "younger" audience, yet it ended up just breaking my concentration.
Over all, this isn't a bad book. Just nothing spectacular, and something I'd recommend only if you're really bored and in the mood for a plain mystery.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glamour and passion were always the fashion, May 20, 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Redwood City, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: If Looks Could Kill (Hardcover)
Cat Jones, editor-in-chief of the Cosmo-esque Gloss magazine, goes to confront her nanny early one Sunday morning, and when she doesn't get a response to the live in apartment, who does she call? No, not the police, or her husband. Cat calls Bailey Weggins, friend and freelance crime journalist at Gloss magazine.
When Bailey enters the nanny's apartment, she finds the 22-year old nanny dead. And Cat, always the editor-in-chief, assigns Baily to mirror the police investigation and determine what is going on.
When I read the pre-releases for IF LOOKS COULD KILL ("Bridget Jones Meets Nancy Drew") I thought it sounded like a fun book. I've enjoyed good mysteries (such as THE ALPHABET MYSTERY SERIES by Sue Grafton) and I liked THE NANNY DIARIES, so I thought a marriage between the two would be fun.
Unfortunately, we get a fairly standard mystery, and somewhat pedestrian plotting.
Bailey Weggins is supposed to be observant, beseeched by her friend Cat to involve herself in this mystery because of her unique way of looking at things. Mostly, Bailey looks at clothes. Every character is first described by what they're wearing.
Bailey is also into good food. Each chapter has her hankering after a good penne putenesca or a fine rissoto. I almost expect for the recipes and restaurant reviews to be included as an appendix.
Also, the motivations of the main characters here are somewhat forced. Why does Cat choose Bailey, of all people, to help her out with this? When Bailey senses herself in danger, why doesn't she just beg off somehow?
All in all, this was a disappointing entry into what will probably turn out to be a fairly average mystery series. If you like mysteries in general, or if you are really in to behind the scenes glimpses of glamour magazines, then this book is for you.
Otherwise, take a look at some of the other beach reading out there.
Kilroy's Rating System:
5 stars - Loved it, and kept it on my bookshelf.
4 stars - Liked it, and gave it to a friend.
3 stars - OK, finished it and gave it to the library.
2 stars - Not good, finished it, but felt guilty and/or cheated by it.
1 star - I want my hour back! Didn't finish the book.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, April 28, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: If Looks Could Kill (Hardcover)
This book is a terrific mystery, with a totally captivating heroine. Bailey Weggins is smart, sexy, very funny, and the reader gets to solve the murder along with her!
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Novel!, April 26, 2002
By 
Elisabeth (Farwell, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: If Looks Could Kill (Hardcover)
...I bought it and read it...more like devoured it!... Wow! I was excited for the author, ... This book truly was fantastic, and it deserves the recognition it is receiving...I recommend it highly! What a wonderful thing that this debut author has broken into the tough world of fiction! It is no small feat that she has come this far! Hats off to Ms. White!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Totally Forgettable Book, May 22, 2002
This review is from: If Looks Could Kill (Hardcover)
I bought this book after Kelly Ripa recommended it as her first "Beach Trash" selection expecting a quick, exiting read for summertime. What I got was a very slow-paced, boring story with such forgettable characters, that I can't even remember them as i'm writing this.
It's being described as a "murder mystery", but that's hardly the case. Yes, someone dies, and someone else is in search of a killer. But throughout the entire book, I found myself not really caring who the murderer was and since the list of suspects was longer than a grocery list for a family of 5 who hasn't eaten in over a month...there was really no point in even guessing who it was. And when you finally get to the end and the killer is revealed, you're like "Huh?! Who the heck was that person?!" I had to go back just to remember who the killer was in relation to the whole story.
Long story short, the book sucked. Kelly Ripa picked a really bad first selection and I think was just trying to make sales for Kate White, who's a first time author. (She should stick to Cosmopolitan or Vogue magazine, or whatever it's called and stay away from fiction writing forever.)
Now if you want truly trashy, fun, light summer reading with lots of humor & sex, pick up "It's My F---ing Birthday" by Merrill Markoe. The title obviously caught my attention in the bookstore, and I was hysterical laughing from the first page and kept laughing after I brought it home. Check it out it you really want summer trash!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BOTHER, June 13, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: If Looks Could Kill (Hardcover)
I love a trashy read, but this IS NOT one. Are people so obsessed with Kelly Ripa they cannot judge a STUPID book when they read one?? The main character, Bailey Weggins, is a vacant, shallow character along with everyone else in the book. Three hundred and fifty pages led to a ridiculous and disappointing ending. Do not waste your time or money on this book!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun diet-mystery, June 2, 2003
This review is from: If Looks Could Kill (Hardcover)
Add me to the list of those who are reading all of Kelly Ripa's book selections. I am a huge fan of Kelly, so anything to tells me to read, most likely I'll read. Her first choice, If Looks Could Kill, was a fun, light beginning to her bookclub.
Bailey Weggins, true crime reporter for Gloss magazine, receives a frantic call from her boss, Cat -- Cat's live-in nanny, Heidi, has not showed up yet nor does she answer her door. Cat begs Bailey to come over and check things out; she's afraid something has happened to Heidi and doesn't want to be alone. Once Bailey enters Heidi's apartment, something is immediately amiss -- if the smell wasn't a dead giveaway, then Heidi's lifeless body is a sure tip-off. Who killed Heidi, and why? Cat asks Bailey to help solve the mystery, and by the novels' end, everyone seems to be a suspect.
Told with a light, easy tone, this mystery is not for die-hard, edge-of-your-seat fans -- this is more for the chick-lit fan who wants something a little different than the norm. Author Kate White did a very good job of keeping me guessing -- I thought the killer was every character at least once throughout the book -- and had me surprised once the killer was revealed in the last few pages. The writing was very easy and flowing, and the New York City setting made it all the more fun, especially since my first trip to NYC was only a few weeks ago. I recommend this book for an entertaining beach read or for anyone wanting a quick, satisfying, light story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, June 4, 2002
By 
"lseldo1" (Baltimore, MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: If Looks Could Kill (Hardcover)
Maybe there's something wrong with me b/c everyone else seemed to love this book but I found it pretty eh. I got through it in 3 days which is average for me but kept reading b/c i kept expecting it to get better. The first person past tense makes it feel like Bailey is retelling her story to you...but in a boring way. I didn't feel the suspense of being there with her, solving the mystery. Also, I couldn't identify with Bailey's character. She lets her boss, her lover and many others walk all over her. And she doesn't develop into her own person through the story...she's still pretty much a doormat at the end.
So overall, I got through the book but there was no WOW at the end of it. So it was just eh.
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If Looks Could Kill: A Bailey Weggins Mystery
If Looks Could Kill: A Bailey Weggins Mystery by Kate White (Hardcover - March 31, 2002)
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